The federal government is officially shut down as of October 1. News 8 reached out to several Wisconsin lawmakers to ask what happened, and how they will move forward.
We spoke toRep. Ron Kind (D) by phone:
Reaction to the shutdown - "The greatest country in the world should not see it's government shut down, and that's what we're battling right now. What we need to do it get our government functioning again, make sure the United States of America pays our bills, does not become a deadbeat nation and then immediately being bipartisan discussions to reach a long term deficit reduction agreement to get our fiscal house in order."
Possibility of reaching a deal - "I've been in communication with a lot of moderate, centrist republicans in the last few days to see if there is a path forward, if there is some common ground, I think there may be some opportunities here in the near future and I'm going to continue to pursue those avenues to hopefully reach an agreement in order to get this government functioning again."
Who is responsible for the shutdown - "The Tea Party influence over the national Republican party has grown to the extent that most Republicans are fearful of being Tea Party primaried back home, and they're coming from overwhelmingly conservative republican districts right now, and that's what they're hearing from this Tea Party is to hold the government hostage until their demands are met and until there's some way of breaking through that political dynamic, we could be facing this for some time to come."
We spoke to Sen. Ron Johnson (R) by phone:
Reaction to the shutdown - "I'm puzzled by it quite honestly, I did not think it would happen, being here in Washington I didn't know anybody that was looking forward to a shutdown I think everybody was trying to avoid it, don't want to play brinkmanship, don't want to impose even more uncertainty on an economy."
"I never wanted the government shut down, I didn't want to play brinkmanship, I was working with the White House diligently behind the scenes trying to find the problem, trying to find common ground in terms of what spending priorities we can agree on and certainly also working with the House encouraging them to pass the CR even before the August break, I've got a calendar, I can see September 30th."
About negotiations on Capitol Hill - "I certainly understood why democrats would not support defunding Obamacare or a one year delay, but the third proposal that the House sent over to the Senate yesterday ended up being pretty reasonable. It's a continuing resolution at the budget control caps that President Obama signed, 45 Democrats voted for and the only thing they added to it was a rejection of the ruling that granted special treatment to members of Congress and their staff under Obamacare, and then simply recognizing that President Obama, without legal authority delayed the employer mandate and just said well you're going to not fine companies you probably shouldn't fine individuals either."
We received a statement from Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D):
"The political game that has been played by Congressional Republicans has now shut down the government and their continued threats of government default are threatening our economic recovery. It is my hope that a growing number of House Republicans will realize that it is time to end their political games and start respecting the hard work of Wisconsin families and small businesses that are moving our economy forward. The Republican House needs to do what the Senate has already done a number of times, pass a clean Continuing Resolution to keep the government open for business. It is past time for Congressional Republicans to start governing in a responsible way where we work together to pass a responsible budget that invests in the middle class and creates jobs."